Tag Archives: permission

Rolling shutters – just what Blackheath station needs

shutters, blackheath station

UPDATE: There is no plan to stick a great big shutter over the front of Blackheath station. I got it wrong. See the comments below, and this updated post.

Following on from the News Hopper’s piece today about the station improvements, below are some images from the plans. You can see the full set of documents on the Lewisham planning portal.
Blackheath station shutter proposed

I don’t know about you, but nothing says “this area is dodgy” like a roller shutter with graffiti on it. That appears to be what’s been approved for the station following renovation work (minus the graffiti to begin with).

cafe

A spot of colour in one of the planning documents:

Unusually, the track in the bay remains in situ, although it is now heavily overgrown
and otherwise obstructed. The area to the north (now a car-park) was formerly an
area of railway sidings, where commuter trains were stabled when not in use.

The bay platform used to come into its own when a circus was taking place on
Blackheath. Many of the animals would arrive in train vans. The circus would then
process through Blackheath Village on to the heath. There is a local legend that on
one occasion an elephant took exception to a passing bus — and the bus lost!

proposed cafe serving are downstairs

£420,000 of our money spent on tinkering with the station again. Bear in mind the lifts took nine months to be installed last time. Looking forward to the grand opening in 2035!

Artist’s impression of (badly photoshopped) Blackheath station with a shutter based on an image by Onnola on Flickr.

7 Comments

Filed under blackheath

What’s going on with The Crown Pub rebuild?

Detail from the Crown Pub Blackheath planning documents sent to Lewisham council
I’ve been a bit lax in not mentioning the redesign of The Crown Pub, as noted in the comments to an unrelated ovine-post:

I always read this excellent blog with great interest, but I can’t believe that one thing has gone without comment on these pages. I went into the village last night for a pint only to find that my regular watering hole The Crown was a building site. It looks very much as if they have ripped out the lovely bay windows (with the two big leather seats) and are replacing them with a flat wall and french doors. How can they be allowed to change the face of such an old and surely protected building so much!?
Yours,
Shocked of Charlton on the 380 bus route

Above is a detail from the planning permission documents at Lewisham Council. Interestingly the original plans for two “jumbobrellas” at the front were withdrawn after 21 complaints were made (I’ve no idea if these two events are related). See the a drawing from the original submission below:

Crown Pub planning drawing from a previous withdrawn request

The Crown Pub Blackheath in its current state

Above is a photo from today, where you can see that the bay windows have been removed to make way for wider openable doors. Which I can’t help feeling might make it feel brighter and more appealing, particularly in the summer.

Neil Rhind in his excellent book Blackheath Village and Environs Volume 1 dates it back to at least 1773 (the first record of a licensee), with a building having been present on the same site during the John Rocque survey of 1741-1746. I had a look at the map here, but couldn’t see it. If anyone with better eyes can, please send me the details! UPDATE: Found it.

Neil points out that it has undergone many renovations during its lifetime, starting out as a building “only three doors wide, with a round-headed door at the entrance”. (page 99).

It’s never been my favourite pub in the area though… Who knows, maybe the improvements will change that… If they re-instate the pole climbing competition of 1892, where a leg of mutton was attached to the top of the pub sign post, I’d definitely come along to watch!

21 Comments

Filed under blackheath, planning, pubs

That Foxtons Blackheath leaflet


And you thought that the election finishing had brought an end to interesting leaflets… Look what’s appeared through my letterbox….

The longer I live in Blackheath, the more I think that a secret to a well looked-after area is a good number of rich old people. I mean, who else would have the time or the cash to leaflet-bomb the whole neighbourhood? Looks like the work of a Blackheath Society member gone rogue to me…

Not that I’m against it. There’s no way that we need another estate agents in Blackheath. So if you want to stop it happening, take a look at this. Maybe they can go and put their branded minis somewhere else.

15 Comments

Filed under blackheath, planning

Blackheath urgently needs more estate agents…

Foxtons planning to invade Blackheath – Abbie commented:

Interesting anonymous note regarding the recently closed down Army Recruitment Office just dropped through my door reading:

WARNING!

Foxtons Estate Agents have brought the old Army Recruitment Office at 9 Lee Road, SE3 in the Village & have very quietly applied for change of usage.

TWO POINTS:
1. Change of usage is a virtually impossible task for anyone apart from foxtons for some reason. By granting this the council will be setting a dangerous precedent which could lead to the demise of your already beleaguered local shops.

2. Foxtons would require parking permits for a very substantial number of cars for the station car park which is already overloaded. Should this happen parking in the village will become virtually impossible. This will be further aggravated by the planned closure for redevelopment of the Blackheath Grove car park.

If this is of concern to you you MUST write or email by Wednesday 12th May at the latest to:

Kemi Erifevieme
Planning
Greenwich Council
Crown Building
48 Woolwich New Road
Woolwich
London
SE18 6HQ

kemi.erifevieme@greenwich.gov.uk
020 8854 8888

Quote Ref no: 10/0847

Sure enough, if you search around on the Greenwich Council’s website, here is Foxton’s request.

This seems like a really unnecessary addition to the high street.

13 Comments

Filed under blackheath, planning

Details of the proposed Piazza Square

Buildings to be removed in the Blackheath Square Piazza proposal

Buildings to be removed in the Blackheath Square Piazza proposal

Following the fuss on the previous post about the plans to develop the car park behind the library, I thought I’d try and take a look at the proposals.  Four times I’ve tried to get into the Blackheath Halls, and every single time they were closed!  I’ve finally managed, and thought I’d put the photos and captions up here, so that more people can see them.  They don’t appear to be on the Blackheath Society’s website, which is unfortunate, as it seems to have led some commenters to suspect a “stitch up”.

I’m putting the photos up here, as I think they have public benefit.  If the copyright holders want them removed, I will take them down.

The proposals seem to have many good points, but it is such a shame that they aren’t pushing ahead for the original plan – to cover a large proportion of the railway next to the chip shop and turn it into a large, pedestrian only space.  It would have been brilliant.  I can understand the concerns that have been raised about new buildings – the site is “underused”, as they describe it (I’m still not sure I agree with that concept – the trains certainly aren’t “underused” in the mornings – increasing population density has many knock-on effects).

In the end, it seems that the proposals have a sense of a “pact with the devil” about them – property developers are good at pushing for what they want, whereas local societies (even effective ones, such as Blackheath’s) will never be a match for their professional bargaining skills.  What they need is do find a wealthy local benefactor, who would fund the original plans, and suggest naming the square after him/her…  Ferrari Square? :)

They’ve asked for comments on the proposals – so please do give them, firstly to their email address blackheath.soc@lineone.net and also here if you have time to do both.  If anyone knows anything about the area (B) “owned by a family trust”, I’d be interested – it seems a very discreet way of writing about the ownership of the land.

Anyway – here’s the best I could do with my blurry camera-phone:

History of the site:

The site where Blackheath Village Library now stands was from 1863 until 1845 occupied by a much larger building – the 1,000 seat Methodist church with 120ft tower and a Sunday school to the north.  In 1945 a WW2 bomb destroyed the church and many surrounding buildings.

1920s map of how the carpark area looked

Ordnance Survey plan of about 1920 showing the Methodist church and Sunday school.

In 1961 the present “library block” filled the gap, but from several points of view filled it unsatisfactorily.  At two storeys, it is dwarfed by the neighbouring Barclays Bank, stylistically it is weak and unappealing.

In development terms, the building and the private and public car parks behind it represent a gross under-use of a key site in the heart of the Village.

To the north and east of the site, houses which had been damaged beyond repair at the western ends of Wemyss Road, and Blackheath Grove were replaced by five and four storey blocks of flats in the 1950s.  These were joined in the 1990s by a four storey block “The Point”, with basement car parking on the site of the former Express Dairy bottling plant.

Proposals:

The idea of a “piazza” in the heart of Blackheath Village sprang from public consultation on the Blackheath Society’s 2001 proposals for improving the Village.  Our initial ideas were ambitious: a huge raft over the railway stretching from the bridge to the post office, paid for by accompanying development.  But the amount of development needed to pay for such a raft would have dwarfed existing buildings.

What we are now suggesting – our “Plan B” – is more modest but in many ways better.  It demolishes the present library block and substitutes a new development, set further back and partly on the site of the existing public car park.  It would be taller than the existing building but comparable in height to its neighbours Barclays Bank and the Grove House flats.

The Blackheath Society would not, of course, undertake the development.  Our role is to show what is possible, likely to receive planning permission, and acceptable to Blackheath people.  We would then, with the owners of the site – Lewisham Council and a family trust – seek a developer or development partner to carry the scheme forward.

Ownership of the land on the proposed Blackheath Square Piazza

The current proposal focuses on the public cark park (A) owned by Lewisham council, and the library block and its private car park (B) owned by a family trust. Part of Blackheath Grove (C) would be incorporated into the new square.

Railway wall plan

Despite the acknowledged costs and difficulties of building over the railway cutting, we believe that a good case can be made for a small, prefabricated, lightweight pedestrian deck by the chip shop. Together with a ramped footpath down towards the Post Office, the deck would ease pedestrian movement between the Village and the Square. The could be combined with the redevelopment of the chip shop to provide a three-storey (unreadable - #### ###) building fronting the deck. The existing parapet wall would be partially removed to give access and a clearer view through to the square.

Initial design for Blackheath Square Piazza

Initial ideas looked at a wider area including the yard to the north and the railway cutting to the south. The illustration shows how buildings and a deck over the railway could have looked.

Blackheath Square piazza railway cutting

Photo showing the railway area, part of which would be covered.

A dissenting view of the plans for the square in Blackheath

A dissenting view of the plans for the square in Blackheath

Another plan of the area

Another plan of the area, hopelessly blurry, sorry...

The exhibition at the Blackheath Halls

The exhibition at the Blackheath Halls

An artist's impression of how the Blackheath Square could look

Where is the post office?!

The idea of a “piazza” in the heart of Blackheath Village sprang from public consultation on the Blackheath Society’s

2001 proposals for improving the Village.  Our initial ideas were ambitious: a huge raft over the railway stretching

from the bridge to the post office, paid for by accompanying development.  But the amount of development needed

to pay for such a raft would have dwarfed existing buildings.

What we are now suggesting – our “Plan B” – is more modest but in many ways better.  It demolishes the present

library block and substitutes a new development, set further back and partly on the site of the existing public car

park.  It would be taller than the existing building but comparable in height to its neighbours Barclays Bank and the

Grove House flats.

The Blackheath Society would not, of course, undertake the development.  Our role is to show what is possible, likely

to receive planning permission, and acceptable to Blackheath people.  We would then, with the owners of the site -

Lewisham Council and a family trust – seek a developer or development partner to carry the scheme forward.

plan caption:
The current proposal focuses on the public cark park (A) owned by Lewisham council, and the library block and its

private car park (B) owned by a family trust.  Part of Blackheath Grove (C) would be incorporated into the new

square.

wall plan:
Despite the acknowledged costs and difficulties of building over the railway cutting, we believe that a good case can

be made for a small, prefabricated, lightweight pedestrian deck by the chip shop.  Together with a ramped foothpath

down towards the Post Office, the deck would ease pedestrian movement between the Village and the Square.  The

could be combined with the redevelopment of the chip shop to provide a three-storey #### ### building fronting

the deck.  The existing parapet wall would be partially removed to give access and a clearer view through to the

square.

nice plan

Initial ideas looked at a wider area including the yard to the north and the railway cutting to the south.  The

illustration shows how buildings and a deck over the railway could have looked.

History of the site:
The site where Blackheath Village Library now stands was from 1863 until 1845 occupied by a much larger building -

the 1,000 seat Methodist church with 120ft tower and a Sunday school to the north.  In 1945 a WW2 bomb destroyed

the church and many surrounding buildings.

In 1961 the present “library block” filled the gap, but from several points of view filled it unsatisfactorily.  At two

storeys, it is dwarfed by the neighbouring Barclays Bank, stylistically it is weak and unappealing.

In development terms, the buidling and the private and public car parks behind it represent a gross under-use of a

key site in the heart of the Village.

To the north and east of the site, houses which had been damaged beyond repair at the western ends of Wemyss

Road, and Blackheath Grove were replaced by five and four storey blocks of flats in the 1950s.  These were joined in

the 1990s by a four storey block “The Point”, with basement car parking on the site of the former Express Dairy

bottling plant.

OSplan:
Ordnance Survey plan of about 1920 showing the Methodist church and Sunday school.

19 Comments

Filed under architecture, blackheath, photography

Noa Noa

Noa Noa clothes shop in Blackheath
Noa Noa (new clothes shop) were refused planning permission for extra illuminated signs outside the shop:

The proposed signage, by reason of its design and illumination, would fail to relate to the design and detailing of the shopfront and the character and appearance of the building,and would detract from the special character of this part of the Blackheath Conservation Area and would fail to comply with Policies URB 9 Signs and Hoardings and URB 16 New Development, Changes of Use and Alterations to Buildings in Conservation Areas within the adopted Unitary Development Plan (July 2004).

This can only be a good thing… First come the glaring signs, then the shutters, then the billboards.  We’re lucky Blackheath is kept looking so nice – in no small part by the Blackheath Society campaigning against various planning proposals.

I wish planningalerts.com worked better – the first I heard of this proposal was when I saw the plasticky sign pinned to the nearest lamp-post.

12 Comments

Filed under blackheath, planning, shops